Café de Olla Recipe (Mexican Coffee)

By Stuart Smith | Last Updated May 10, 2020


Preparation Time & Servings

Requires simple ingredients.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)

*Nutrition information should be considered an estimate.

TOOLS NEEDED: Small pot or saucepan with lid Fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.

The café de olla, a traditional Mexican coffee beverage, gets its name from the clay pot (olla is Spanish for “pot”) used to brew the drink. The earthy materials that make up the pot are said to give this popular Mexican beverage its particular taste.

This drink is often served in small mugs made from the same clay as the pot it brews in. What makes this drink significant is that the coffee is brewed right alongside cinnamon sticks and piloncillo, an unrefined cane sugar popular in Mexico.

This drink is steeped in Mexican tradition but quickly growing in popularity in the United States.



  • 8 ounces water
  • ½ cinnamon stick 2 tablespoons piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh medium-coarse ground coffee (a dark Mexican roast works best for traditional flavor)


  • In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the cinnamon stick and piloncillo. Cook, stirring until the piloncillo dissolves
  • Add the coffee grounds and stir. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your brew
  • Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the coffee into a mug

Recipe Tip

To make this drink even more flavorful, add ½ clove of star anise to the water with the cinnamon and sugar.

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